The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, has condemned alleged attack by herdsmen on the University’s multi-million naira research and training farms, as well as who poisoning of the school dam with chemicals.
Abdulkareem claimed that the management of the institution had a barely a week ago held a security meeting with the leaders of the 11 Fulani settlements on the University land.
Through the school weekly Bulletin issued on Monday, the vice-chancellor stated that economic trees’ were destroyed by cattle grazing on the vast land of the institution, despite the meeting which said to had had in attendance representatives of law enforcement agencies comprising of the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Meanwhile, at the meeting, Prof. Abdulkareem disclosed that the University management would no longer tolerate illegal grazing of cows on its land, just as he informed illegal settlers, who have started building permanent structures, to vacate the University land in the interest of peace.
According to him, this was coming almost a year after the University authorities first issued a quit notice to the illegal settlers.
Abdulkareem recalled that the University management had on April 26, 2017 handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the Fulani herdsmen encroaching on the University land to quit the campus, but the quit notice was never complied with.
The vice-chancellor also noted that on May 11, 2017, 28 persons, comprising Fulani herdsmen, Yoruba and Hausa farmers, were dragged to an Ilorin Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly trespassing into the University land, destroying the school’s plantation and perpetrating other unauthorized activities on the University campus.
He explained that the accused persons were alleged to have resorted to poisoning the institution’s dam with chemicals, while also engaging in illegal felling of economic trees from which they made charcoal.
However, at last Thursday’s meeting, the Vice-Chancellor clearly told the Fulani settlers that “enough is enough”.
The VC warned that the University could no longer condone the destructive activities of their grazing cattle on the University land, as this is becoming too costly for the institution to bear.
According to the institution’s publication, herdsmen from 11 communities took turns to speak at the meeting.
The Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Usman Adamu, told the University management that the herdsmen destroying the University farm land were not living in the community.
He said that there were other ethnic groups embarking on illegal activities like logging, and were not Fulani.